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Get to Know Ms. Barreto

This is Ms. Barreto’s office where you can find her working and talking to students, parents, and staff

  Ms. Barreto is a respected assistant principal at Miami Senior High School who is about to retire.

Her High School Experience

  Ms. Barreto went to two different high schools. She attended a high school in New Jersey from her freshmen year to her junior year, and then for her senior year, where she transferred, she attended a high school in Bogota, Colombia.

  She hated the transfer to South America because her parents assumed that just because she spoke Spanish that she would be fine, but that wasn’t the case. She experienced a lot of culture shock because Colombia was a poor country compared to the United States. She was mad about dead cows on the street, rats coming out of toilets, men beating woman on the street, etc. Ms. Barreto found the educational disparity too great.

  Furthermore, Ms. Barreto was an advanced student; therefore, in her high school in Colombia, she felt like they didn’t have enough resources and opportunities for her. She felt unchallenged in Colombia because she was always a student that took high level classes. She wanted to take Physics but couldn’t because it wasn’t offered in her high school. She wanted to take a bunch of Advanced Placement courses but couldn’t either. This led her to only be able to take elective classes like Art, Dance, Music Appreciation, etc.

  She was a hard-working and intelligent student in high school, and she ended up graduating with a high GPA. A big role model that shaped Ms. Barreto into who she is today is her father who is a Chemical Engineer and raised her to be a smart and hard-working person. Her father refers to her as his “pride and joy.”

Her College Experience

  Ms. Barreto attended Boston College, but it wasn’t her dream school, which was Princeton University, which she got accepted into. Princeton was her father’s favorite acceptance letter. She decided to go to Boston College because of her best friend, Tricia, but her friend didn’t get a scholarship, so Tricia didn’t attend. Ms. Barreto says, “Looking back, if I didn’t make the choice based on my friend, I would’ve gone to Princeton University.”

  In the end, she had no regrets at Boston College; her only complaint was the cold weather. Missing the warmth of Florida, she later went to Barry University to get a master’s degree.

  During her college years, Ms. Barreto didn’t partake in many clubs or sports, but she did partake in the drama club, and she did a lot of educational work like helping in a preschool and teaching kindergarten.

  Ms. Barreto’s motto throughout her life was that she wants to be known for being smart not being pretty. One of her proudest moments in college was denying the superlative as prettiest because she hates being known only for her looks. She stated, “Vanity doesn’t mean anything to me.”

  Her plan in college was to study medicine and become a doctor, but when they put her in the lab where she had to cut things open, she felt too much empathy, and she couldn’t do it. After that realization, she started with a degree in Special Education. For this degree, she had to take a psychology course and that’s when she fell in love with that subject. She decided she wanted to be a psychologist, so she got her master’s degree in psychology.

  She later got accepted into Temple University to get her Ph.D. but then she got pregnant with her son Trent, which led her to not getting her doctorate. Later she had her son Dylan, who was born with Autism, and she decided to dedicate her work to him. She decided to stop being a child psychologist and decided to pursue education; therefore, she could be available to Dylan at all times.


Her Teaching Career

  Her favorite job that she ever had was teaching kindergarten for 22 years. She was good at her job, and she claims that she can even teach a rock to read. She worked at a private school in Philadelphia, but one of the parents got under her skin and she decided to work with kids who truly need a good teacher and lack good resources.

  She wanted to work with kids in schools that have at least 90% free reduced lunch and continued to do so until the year 1998. She later moved out of Philadelphia because she got divorced. She moved to Florida and became a reading coach. Her current job is being an assistant principal at Miami Senior High School.

   Ms. Barreto’s favorite thing about Miami Senior High School is the students and her least favorite thing about Miami Senior High School is the students as well. She loves the students that she saves from being kicked out and the students that she establishes a relationship with which later end up graduating due to her efforts. She loves straightening people up onto the right path.

  Her least favorite thing is when she has to discipline students for doing things like leaving campus without permission, skipping classes, being tardy, etc. She only got in trouble once in her high school and it was because she made a wall out of desks.

  Her favorite moment while working at Miami Senior High School is the Junior Ring Ceremony, because she enjoys seeing the Juniors take that step, and Prom. She’s not a big fan of football games because it’s till late at night.

  She loves the people she works with because they are wonderful to her. One of her favorite memories with the staff was when they had a surprise birthday party for her. She states, “Miami Senior High School does high school better than any school in the district.” She loves how much school spirit, opportunities, and sports there are in the school.

  During her first year, the Homecoming Parade, which she was a judge for, was a big memory to her because of how amazing and unique it was. Watching the homecoming parade was one thing that convinced her to continue to work in Miami Senior High School. On the other hand, one thing she’d change about Miami Senior High School is the cafeteria food. She doesn’t think it looks appetizing.

Life Outside of Miami Senior High School

  For fun Ms. Barreto loves to read, go to the beach, and hang out with family. Her favorite place that she’s traveled to is Madrid, Spain. She went everywhere in Spain when she was 16 years old, and she states that it was her favorite trip ever.

  Out of the 7 new Wonders of the World, the only two Ms. Barreto hasn’t seen are the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. She’s traveled a lot but the one place that had the most profound impact and she still talks about all the time is Machu Pichu in Peru. Till this day she doesn’t understand how they got those stones from the valley all the way up to the mountains.

  She plans on retiring in 20 months and she is very excited. She’s worked for 38 years and can’t wait to finally rest. After retiring, she plans on writing a book. One of her great talents is cooking. She didn’t make it a career because she would rather cook with a nice glass of wine in peace than work in a restaurant under pressure. Her favorite music artist is James Taylor, and her favorite music genre is soft rock. She grew up in the 60’s and calls herself an “old hippie.”


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  • E

    Edwin GOct 23, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Great article keep it up congratulations I attended Miami High 97’ to 00’

  • M

    MariaOct 23, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Good interview!